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North America » United States » Oregon » Coos Bay
November 4th 2015
Published: April 28th 2016
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Once we got going I was expecting to have a major difference in pace with Matt due to his cycling experience. His bike had mountain bike tires on it though and he really wasn't that fast of a rider anyway so I was constantly slowing down letting him do the leading. I'm not a physics expert by any means but after watching Matt struggle for a few km's on his bike with its huge, fat tires I could see it was a gigantic disadvantage on the road. It was really fucking logical to see how much harder he had to work to get speed up, I pointed this out which he completely denied, he told me the huge diameter of his wheels meant greater speed, I let it go. It was good to be cycling with someone again but in the coming days I grew frustrated with Matt for two reasons. The first being that he wouldn't stop talking, just wouldn't shut the fuck up despite all my desperate thoughts wishing for him to do so, he would go on for hours about this bit of knowledge or that and was happy to pass it on, too happy. This was a
special aggravation for me because of people I'd known in the past who did this endlessly, one whom I lived with for a year. The second reason I was getting annoyed was because there was always some problem either with Matts bike, his ankle, knee, foot or thigh that meant we had to slow down or stop all the time. Not to mention that he never cycled up hills, he always pushed his bike up them. Since writing this in my journal Matt and I parted ways for good which I will write about in a later blog post. My brother Justin's father in laws cousin Stephen, an avid traveller of many years whom I met in Vancouver before I left on my trip told me to stay with his friend in Gold Beach right near the Oregon and California border. I had slacked off with notifying his friend John of my extended stay in Coos Bay, the last time I'd contacted him was a few days before Matt so he would have been expecting me a few days before. I tried calling him using some sketchy WiFi a few times but he never picked up the phone. I should have just asked Stephen for his email but total apathy stopped me. Anyway we arrived in Port Orford an incredibly nice looking beach town and Matt proposed that we should just camp on the beach itself instead of riding up a huge hill to the next state campgrounds that looked intimidating in the distance. I liked the idea a lot, there was some large rocks we could hide behind despite the beach being in clear view of the town. We took our bikes onto the sand it was very tough for me with my road tires sinking into the sand to make headway to where we had to go. After about 45 minutes we found a spot that it looked like some kids had been building tepees with driftwood and we parked our bikes under the main, large one that had some loose bits of material for us to cover them with. We knew it was going to rain but we just used our tent fly as a sleeping surface and a cover, we simply wrapped ourselves in it. We didn't set up our tents for two reasons, they would be seen by passers by and also getting sand into zips is a good way to ruin them. This was the first time I had ever slept completely outside like this, not counting drunken escapades when I was younger. It was cold so by 530 we were in our sleeping bags after watching the sunset. I grabbed my IPod and started listening to Eddie Vedders Into the wild soundtrack whilst just staring at the stars, I didn't know that night a meteor shower was due, I watched a bunch of lights crash into the atmosphere and one shot across the entire visible sky. The best part was being able to tune out Matt who I had no doubt would have been trying to talk, but I couldn't hear him at all. It got cold that night and my tent fly got too tangled to keep me dry from the coming rain, it was a good test of my sleeping bag which held up pretty well. That morning we woke and Matt got upset at the whole situation, how uncomfortable it was. He was angry at how long he had been cycling and sleeping in wet conditions and it was almost funny to see him throw a tantrum. He said a
lady had walked near our camp in the morning and she was just staring at us for ages. We made coffee on the beach, and then made the difficult push back to the town where we found an Australian lady who had just had her leg mauled by an Australian blue heeler, her friends dog. She told us she was a nurse which is why she must have been so calm from her injury, I was horrified looking at it. There were bone fragments, ligament tissue and fat mixed with blood all over her lower leg. It's situations like this that you want to help, you want to feel useful but I was absolutely useless. I had an old bandage I'd been carrying around for ages uncovered which would probably make her leg worse in the long run. There was an ambulance on the way so I told her she was a tough lady and moved on. We took our bikes to a manual car wash, sprayed the sand off and oiled our chains. We then dried our gear in a laundromat for a little while, had some breakfast, got our fill of the town and I proceeded to Gold
Beach a beautiful 30 mile ride. Matt had decided to catch the bus as his leg was sore from his disgruntled sleep. I'd tried calling John that morning and had got cut off due to a weak WiFi signal. I'd tried again and it had rung out, twice. In the ten second call that had got disconnected I established who I was so I got so paranoid when he didn't pick up the phone. I didn't know the guy or anything about him so the situation became weird in my mind. I was going to give up but when I arrived at gold beach I met up with Matt and decided to try one more time to contact this guy, the old me certainly wouldn't have done this. As usual I had no phone reception so I borrowed a phone from a local store and finally got hold of John, who was pretty chilled out about me coming over, he gave me the wrong directions though so we cycled back further into Gold Beach, asked a local in the supermarket about the street name he had given who said it was 10km from where back from where we had made
the phone call. This lady offered to drive us there so we graciously accepted, I think she was curious about this street and wanted to see it for herself. I could see why, it is an exclusive dirt road only wide enough for one car that loops around about ten houses over a few kilometers. Through most of the drive her husband stayed on the phone not liking the idea of her driving two strangers somewhere by herself I suspected, this lack of trust in this world is necessary I suppose but it was surprising. The houses on Johns street are all beautiful and right on the coast, Johns house was one of the last and we dropped off our bikes while I made the introduction. His Wife who's name I cannot recall, similar to Michelle, was the only one home. She calmed her two crazy dogs, got us to stash our bikes and then invited us into the home. She was pretty stoned and the smell of weed was damn strong, I felt more comfortable knowing that she smokes as I knew from experience she would be more relaxed with two strangers coming in. We had our own room
each and the place was all made of wood with so much art in the home they couldn't fit it all on the walls. We chilled out, John arrived home and was totally relaxed with us being there. He had a face of someone in Hollywood, very distinguished for someone of 70 years of age and I could imagine him being an actor. I still didn't know his occupation. He told us humbly of his job working as an architect over many years and he had just come back from what sounded like a multi million dollar project he was running. We got stoned, talked a bit, Matt talked too much and we went to sleep around midnight. The rooms we each stayed in were very beautiful, this was 5 star accommodation. When we got up in the morning it was obvious we would be leaving that day, I think Matts excessive talking was getting to John, it was pretty annoying. He would literally follow him around and keep chatting continuously. After breakfast John offered to drop us off at the top of the monster hill awaiting us past Gold Beach. We went through town, got some coffees and he drove us up the absolutely huge hill. It would have taken us a few hours to get up there at least. We got to the top, took a few photos, shook Johns hand and cycled down the huge hill to the other side. Matt told me a little while later that he had looked up Johns name on the Internet and the guy had received a ton of awards for his work in architecture, he was probably a multi millionaire. I felt lucky for the experience after sleeping in my tent so many times, part of me wished Matt hadn't come as I felt like he kind of dampened the experience and probably cut short a stay that would have lasted more than just one night.

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